“JUDGE NOT LEST YE BE JUDGED”!
If I hear Matthew 7:1 quoted incorrectly and out of context one more time, I think I’ll just write about it! Well…here I am.
Sometimes I think that this verse is the only verse of the Bible that some people know. They use Matthew 7:1 [which says, “Judge not, that ye be not judged”] as their proof-text to show that it is wrong to point out sin and error, that it ought to be “to each his own” and let God sort it out later, and that you should just be quiet because your judging will come back on you. Haven’t they read verses 2-5???
(Vs2) For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Well…so far, it sounds like “they” could be on to something…but let’s read on:
(Vs3) And why beholdest thou the mote [twig/straw] that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam [stick/timber] that is in thine own eye? Hmm…could the Lord Jesus be talking about and addressing a hypocrite and hypocritical judgment??? We should read on:
(Vs4-5) Or how wilt thou say to they brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
The Lord Jesus Christ clearly addresses verses 1-5 toward the hypocrite and hypocritical judgment. The Lord is not prohibiting honest judgment or godly discernment in situations. Else, why would He say in this same chapter, verse 15, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”? How could we “beware” and how could we know “false prophets” if we did not judge? Isn’t the Lord asking us to judge? He sure is…listen to the first part of verse 16, “Ye shall know them by their fruits…” Whoa! Didn’t the Lord make us “fruit inspectors”?
And not just in determining false prophets, either…in verse 17, the Lord goes on to say, “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.” The Lord takes this beyond false prophets here…to every tree out there, good or corrupt! Verse 20, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them”.
Lest anyone need more proof, 1 Corinthians 6:2-3, “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you [you = saints], are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”
I truly believe that hypocritical judgment goes on today, but I also believe that Matthew 7:1 is taken way out of context. Jesus calls us to be “fruit inspectors” and we see from 1 Corinthians that we have the authority to judge even the things that pertain to this life…so let’s start with a fruit inspection in our own life first: “…these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone”!